Cricket

Brathwaite's patience blunts Bangladesh spin attack

2018-07-12 22:21
Kraigg Brathwaite (Getty Images)

Kingston - Kraigg Brathwaite's patient defiance continued to frustrate Bangladesh's spinners as the West Indies reached 164 for three at tea after being put in to bat on Thursday, the opening day of the second and final Test at Sabina Park in Jamaica.

Fresh from a typically watchful hundred in his team's innings victory in the first Test in Antigua a week earlier, Brathwaite was unbeaten on 81 at the interval, ensuring that the threat of the visitors' slow bowlers on a more helpful surface than at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, was effectively blunted.

After four hours at the crease, Brathwaite resumes in the final session in partnership with Shimron Hetmyer, one of two changes to the side that thrashed Bangladesh by an innings and 219 runs inside three days in the first Test.

Brathwaite had Shai Hope as his partner at the crease for most of the afternoon session, the pair extending their third-wicket partnership to 79 before the elegant Hope fell for 29, caught off the glove by alert wicketkeeper Nurul Hasan off Taijul Islam.

Taijul had come into the Bangladesh as the lone change from the first Test humiliation, replacing medium-pacer Rubel Hossain.

Bangladesh were buoyant through the morning session as Brathwaite watched from the other end while first opening partner Devon Smith and then Kieran Powell fell to Mehidy Hasan.

It was a period of play when the tourists made full use of their slow bowling options on a pitch that was surprisingly helpful given the trend of grassy, fast bowler-friendly tracks for previous Tests in this Caribbean international season.

West Indies' decision to omit specialist spinner Devendra Bishoo before the start of play appeared to suggest that another seaming, bouncing pitch was on offer to be exploited by an attack spearheaded by Shannon Gabriel and also incorporating captain Jason Holder, medium-pacer Miguel Cummins and debutant Keemo Paul, whose potential as a seam bowler and useful lower-order batsman gave him the nod ahead of lanky pacer Alzarri Joseph.

Kemar Roach, the most experienced of the West Indies fast bowlers and "Man of the Match" with his devastating effort on the first morning in Antigua when he triggered the rout of Bangladesh with figures of five for eight, has been rested for this match, so giving Paul his opportunity.

With Bishoo dropped, the home selectors opted to boost the batting by recalling 21-year-old Hetmyer for his first Test of the domestic season.

So quickly did Shakib recognise the spin-friendly nature of the pitch that he had himself and mystery spinner Mehidy operating in tandem after a lone over of medium-pace from Abu Jayed.

It wasn't long before Mehidy accounted for Smith via a bat-pad catch, Mominul Haque running back to short square-leg to complete the dismissal. Powell came to the crease and played with greater purpose and aggression, contributing 29 to a 50-run second-wicket stand when he was caught in the crease and trapped leg-before by Mehidy.

Of the 65 overs bowled through the first two sessions, seamers Abu Jayed and Kamrul Islam accounted for just 12 between them with the bulk of the work being done by Skahib, Mehidy and Taijul together with Mahmudullah in support.

West Indies are searching for their first home series win since 2014, when Bangladesh were also their opponents and were well beaten in Tests in St Vincent and St Lucia.

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